Recent sanctions by Europe against Russia will not affect production or jobs at the two locations of Russian steel company NLMK in Wallonia in the coming months. The following announcement has been made by the Walloon Economy Minister Willy Borsus.
Earlier this month, parliamentarian André Flahaut had warned about the impact of the sanctions on the NLMK plants in Clabecq and La Louvière. However, the sanctions package includes a two-year transition period for phasing in the import ban on certain steel products, so there will be no problem for the next few months at least, Borsus said.
NLMK Belgium will only have to find a different raw material supplier than the Russian parent company within two years, he explained. In the long term, “structural solutions” are needed to guarantee jobs and production, he added.
“We are in solidarity with the European sanctions, but I think it is particularly important to take all measures needed to safeguard activity and employment in Wallonia,” the Economy Minister said.
The government will soon meet with the European Commission to discuss the situation at NLMK, Borsus disclosed.